Monday, May 25, 2009

Mournful Monday

This is just the tip of the iceberg in the lastest rental eviction that I fretted about Friday.

Stove -
Fridge

Vanity nailed shut


Half of a closet door
I hopefully had another one move out this weekend - and I know it will be worse, at least as far as the filth goes.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday Fretting

It's Friday and I am Fretting - We bought an 11 unit complex the end of January. We've had to start evictions on 2 of them, 2 moved out on their own, 2 were already empty, and the worse one I gave a 30 day notice to. I'm afraid we'll have to evict that one also. Of course, the Captain is out to Sea - so guess who is left here to do the dirty work???? Whine, whine, whine. Actually, I am enjoying getting the apartments back into shape, but I had no idea how much work it would be. I strip floors of carpet, tack strips, linoleum, tiles, rotten wood - whatever it takes. I sand sheet rock, prime and paint walls. I make numerous dump runs. I clean up a lot of trash. This morning I have to go see the damages to the eviction that left last night. This tenant never paid any rent, and wouldn't let us in the apartment. They had 2 Pit Bulls. He said he'd leave the key under the mat. We think they may have been messing selling drugs. I'm dreading it. But then yesterday I dreaded going to court for the other eviction process and we were in and out in 20 minutes with everyone being very cordial. It was weird - they agreed to be out by the 8th of June. Of course, no money - but as least they will be out and we can renovate and get someone in who will pay rent. I'd better quit whining and get to work.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Birthday hacking!

Too bad I don't have a bunch of old pictures scanned in my new computer to post here, but I am hacking the blog, nonetheless! Waahaahaa!


To Mom from Her Pesky Kid
I really love my mother,
And it surely makes me proud,
To know I’m one of her pesky kids,
And to sing her praises loud.

My mother has a birthday,
Almost every year,
And on that day she’ll ponder life,
And even shed a tear.

See, Ma don’t like her birthdays;
She says they make her old,
But she’s as sharp as she ever was,
If the truth be told.

My mother showed me lots of things,
About the world, you see,
So then I could teach my pesky kids,
The things my mom taught me.

Thank goodness for you, mom. Where would I be without you?
Happy Birthday!

By Karl Fuchs
Happy birthday and Mother's Day, Mom! I love you!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Makes you think

A man was being tailgated by a stressed out woman on a busyboulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him. He didthe right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he could have beatenthe red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman was furious and honked her horn, screaming infrustration, as she missed her chance to get through the intersection, droppingher cell phone and makeup.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked upinto the face of a very serious police officer. The officer ordered her toexit her car with her hands up. He took her to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted,photographed, and placed in a holding cell.

After a couple of hours, apoliceman approached the cell and opened the door. She was escorted back tothe booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with her personaleffects.

He said, 'I'm very sorry for this mistake. You see, I pulled upbehind your car while you were blowing your horn, flipping off the guy infront of you, and cussing a blue streak at him. I noticed the 'What Would Jesus Do bumper sticker, the Choose Life license plate holder, the Follow Me to Sunday-School bumpersticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk; naturally... I assumed you had stolen the car.'

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Turkey Fight - Almost

I saw these 3 turkey near one of our apartment complexes - The 2 toms seemed to be squaring off against each other over the hen.
Hey - I'm the Tommy around here!

Are you looking at Me???



Mika was barking - so I looked out on our deck to see this cutie.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ah ha

I googled the "Pink Shoelaces" lyrics - and I was right after all. Who remembers this tune?

Now I've got a guy and his name is Dooley
He's my guy and I love him truly
He's not good lookin', heaven knows
But I'm wild about his crazy clothes

He wears tan shoes with pink shoelaces
A polka dot vest and man, oh, man
Tan shoes with pink shoelaces
And a big Panama with a purple hat band

Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh

He takes me deep-sea fishing in a submarine
We go to drive-in movies in a limousine
He's got a whirly-birdy and a 12 foot yacht
Ah, but thats-a not all he's got

He's got tan shoes with pink shoelaces
A polka dot vest and man, oh, man
He's got tan shoes with pink shoelaces
And a big Panama with a purple hat band

Now Dooley had a feelin' we were goin' to war
So he went out and enlisted in a fightin' corps
But he landed in the brig for raisin' such a storm
When they tried to put 'im in a uniform

He wanted tan shoes with pink shoelaces
A polka dot vest and man, oh, man
He wanted tan shoes with pink shoelaces
And a big Panama with a purple hat band

Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh

Now one day Dooley started feelin' sick
And he decided that he better make his will out quick
He said
"Just before the angels come to carry me
I want it down in writin' how to bury me."

A wearin' tan shoes with pink shoelaces
A polka dot vest and man, oh, man
Give me tan shoes with pink shoelaces
And a big Panama with a purple hat band

Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh
Ooh-ooh, ooh, ooh

And a big Panama with a purple hat band!!

It is by Dodie Stevens and called Pink Shoelaces - I had to call both of my sisters and then they remembered the song.

Slip of the tongue or mind????

I recently made fun of my daughter and granddaughter's error in song lyrics. What goes around comes around. Tonight at the dinner table, Arianna told David that some boy they both know wears pink shoe laces. I say "Isn't there a song about pink shoelaces?" No one can think of one, but I have the tune in my head - so I call my sister, Gwen and ask her. She says, "A white sport coat, and a pink CARNATION" - Oooops - you mean it wasn't "A white sport coat and pink shoe laces? my bad."

I've been working pretty hard lately at being a "Sally" (which is what guys call guys who don't do guy things well - like construction or handy man stuff), so I am really exhausted when I get home. The other night I decided to say grace and started "Come Lord George" Where on earth did that come from? The kids almost fell off their chairs laughing at me. I'll never live it down.

Lastest Paintings




Monday, April 20, 2009

Ready for some Whine?



I've had several people say they haven't heard from me lately and wonder what's new. So prepare yourselves.




1. I moved back to Maine to my ex-husband, and his (our) 2 grandchildren and our fat cat - Midnight. Mika is soooooo pleased to be home. She is very busy barking to let everyone know she's back - especially the squirrels and her neighbor friend - Jake.




"Can Mika come out to play, please? Please? Or at least give me a pig ear"



2. The kids are happy to have me back, and I am very glad to be back in their lives.



Getting ready for Easter



3. We have a new Great Grandson - Bradley - Here he is with his Papa.




4. We invested in a new 11 unit apartment complex - actually 3 buildings - 1 has 6 units, 1 has 4 units and 1 in a single unit. It came with 9 units occupied. I say occupied- because not all of them bother to pay their rent. The 6 unit building is a disaster - it has 2 units empty - we have already put in over $5,000 in the renovation of one of them. The other empty shouldn't be too bad - just a gutted bathroom and new carpeting and linoleum - oh and some sheetrock repair. 2 units are kept up fairly well, but one of them is 6 weeks behind in rent and I will be giving them a 7 day pay or quit notice. The other 2 are a mess - both are rented and they pay on time with help from the state. One has 2 huge dogs, 3 birds, 2 little girls, a mom and her brother. I have literally never been in a place so filthy and smelly. The other one has 2 cats, birds, 4 little boys and a mom and dad. They seem really nice - but it sure is crowded. We, as new landlords, have decided no pets - especially no dogs. So far, the dogs are still there. Now we found out that there are cockroaches. The 2 messies apartments have several occupants with allergies and don't want it bombed, others are upset and want the whole building bombed. Goodness - what a challenge this is turning out to be. The 4 unit building now has one empty unit that I am having another challenge on how to get rid of the cigarette odor. That tenant left owing a month's rent. The other bottom unit is awful. The tenants have never paid rent at all, they won't let us in to inspect. They hand papers back and forth through a torn screen door. I did get partway in a while ago and noticed that there is a padlock on the closet door in the living room. They also have 2 pitbulls. The other day they flooded the basement by using a dishwasher (not allowed) draining in their plugged sink. We gave them a 7 day in March and had our lawyer serve them again in April - we go to court in May. The 2 units upstairs keep their apartments immaculate, but one is almost a month late. The single unit has one man with 2 chihuahuas that are near death they are so old. Since he lives alone, we are letting him grandfather his dogs, but he can't replace them. He is the only one who pays his own heat - so he literally wrapped his whole house in plastic.

5. I am managing all of our rentals now, and not having to work another full-time job like before. We now have 19 apartments units (2 complexes), 36 storage units, 2 mobile homes, and 3 houses, oh and one house that we have never gotten ready to rent yet. Besides doing the bookwork, collecting rents, doing the banking, etc.. I'm also learning to do light???? maintenance. On the apartment we are almost done with - I've sanded sheetrock, removed trim from around doors and windows, removed baseboards, removed baseboard heater vents, cut and rolled up old carpets, removed tackstrips, removed nails from boards, removed old floor tiles, picked up lots of trash in the yard, replaced end caps on baseboard heater vents (in the apartment that is filthy - my pant legs almost stuck to the floor), gone to the dump and unloaded a toilet, metal junk, and the second trip, the entire old set of kitchen cabinets (by myself). Uff-da - I'm getting tired just thinking about it.
6. The Captain hired a nanny-housekeeper while I was being the prodigal wife. Not working out at all. She will be here until the end of this month. I like her ok, but she is sooooo slow. Anyway - with me here now, we don't need a full-time nanny-housekeeper. The ideal situation would be someone to come in before the bus got here to get the kids started on their homework, start the evening meal, and do some housework. With the costs involved in the newest apartment complex, it doesn't look like we'll be able to hire anyone full-time. The Captain is guessing that he will be done fishing from the middle of July until March - so with 2 of us here, we should be able to handle it. I will miss not having to do laundry or vacuuming. Oh well.
7. It might snow or at least sleet tonight - yuk.

Kids say the darndest things

I just overheard my grandchildren singing "The Clapping Song" - Arianna sang - 3, 6, 9 the goose drank wine, the monkey chewed tobacco on the cell phone line. Too funny. It reminds of the way my daughter Lisa used to sing "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" She always sang - "Then one froggy Christmas Eve,"

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Roadkill

The other day, a snowy day - I was slowing down towards the bottom of a hill so I wouldn't slide onto the upcoming intersection. There was this little chickadee in the road - it must have been aerodynamically challenged because it didn't lift quite high enough into the air and sort of tumbled across my hood and into the windshield wiper. I got out to see if it would be OK. A couple of days earlier I had been at my friend's (she teaches a wildlife class at a college) and a chickadee flew into their arcadia door and knocked itself dizzy. She said that if we left it outside it would freeze to death because it wasn't moving - so they brought it inside and put it in a cat carrier until it was back up to par - about 20 minutes. They put it back out side and away it flew. Sooooooo - I picked it up - it didn't appear to have any broken legs or wings but was way too docile. So I held it and drove to our office. Of course I had a hard time getting in because the overhead door was frozen shut - but I managed. I put it in a box with paper towels and an old torn bath towel over it - and went about my business. I had to make a trip to the new apartment complex we bought and I got a little feed from one of the tenants. The sweet little bird started hopping around and scratching to get out - so I stopped where I picked it up - thinking it probably had a nest nearby. I carried it up over the snowbank (with no boots on) and gently set it down. It flopped and wobbled and scurried away from me. I was a little alarmed at his lack of steady mobility, but he manage to hop up on a tree branch, and then to another, so I left it and went home for lunch. I took these pictures when I dropped him off.

After lunch, I had to drive past him again and he was still on the same branch, with it's little head tucked under it's wing. I was feeling guilty about hitting it and worrying that it would become fox or eagle lunch - so I climbed back over the snow bank and farther - and picked him up again. He didn't really try to get away, but seemed fairly alert. I put him back in the box and picked up the seeds I had left for him in the snow. I went to the office and planned to go to town to get a cage to keep him in until I was sure he was OK. When I came out of the office 10 minutes later - he was dead. But - surprisingly enough - I didn't cry. Almost though.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

Home


Well, I'm home in Maine and very glad to be here. The children were ecstatic to see us. And we were glad to see them too. We got here on Friday the 20th - went to dinner to celebrate and then got a huge welcome back to Maine snowstorm - we got 12-18 inches of snow on Saturday. Back to shoveling. The Captain went back to Virginia for another unsuccessful squid trip - and is now switching gear to go scalloping instead. Yahoooooo! I am keeping really busy with the new (to us) apartment complex we bought (borrowed for). Right now my "job" is to manage 18 apartments, 2 mobile homes, 3 houses, and 37 storage units. There are 2 apartments that are vacant and need extesive work to get them ready to rent - and there are a couple of acquired tenants that we need to move out. I didn't think it would keep me that busy, but I run all of the time. The office is located in the basement of one of our apartment buildings where we also have the storage units. There is an overhead door that we access with a security card - it seems like I'm always having to work to get in - either the door is frozen to the ground or blocked by snow falling off the roof. Post office runs, bank runs, collecting rent runs. But I feel so alive and energized by it all.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Virginia

I made it to Virginia on Wed. 02/04. Mika and I picked up the Captain at the train station - she was sooooooo excited to see her "daddy". I was glad to see him too - I was tired of driving. lol

It took us until the 13th to get the boat ready for her first excursion with her new Captain. We had to get the gear ready to go "Squidding". It was quite the experience. Mika loved being on the boat - while we were docked anyway. The weather was wonderful most of the time. Shirt sleeves.
Then we were off - it kind of stopped being fun and started being work. I had to do all of the cooking, most of the dishes, and also worked on the deck. I didn't have to haul back or set out the gear, but I did sort fish. It was a good thing that Mika and I took motion sickness meds - we never found our sea legs. One of the interesting things I found out was that the squid were not as big as I thought, but we couldn't keep anything under 4" or the price would go down. So, the guys told me that if I lay the squid across my gloved hand and it covered it, that would be long enough. See - size does matter. In other words, "under a handful - throw it back" - for gals "over a mouthful is waste"for guys. You have to see the squid to get a clear picture. The picture I'm showing isn't really a good one. Some are really limp, but other's are a little more "sturdy".

We didn't make any money that trip - we had a fire on the boat (more about that later) and had to go back to the dock without a complete trip - so what squid we got didn't even pay for the fuel or groceries.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

North Carolina

Well, I've made it as far as North Carolina - with no problems. I'm staying at my sister-in-laws=tonight and tomorrow - then off to Virginia. Thanks for all your prayers.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Moving

Well, decision finally made after much praying, writing down pros and cons, and much deliberating. I'm going back to Maine - to my husband, our business, and our beautiful grandchildren. Now the praying is for the travel back. We are weighing our options. Drive or fly. I'm having a hard time finding any flights that are non-stop so Mika won't be stuck in cargo twice. Not having much luck. My jeep is a '92 and pretty rusted out and will not pass inspection in Maine. We already have 2 vehicles in Maine and don't need this one. My youngest son has agreed reluctantly to travel with me if I need him. I offered a couple of scenarios - a plane ticket back or the jeep. He spontaneously said he'd take the jeep - but in the long run that might be more expensive - with gas money to get him back to Phoenix. We'll keep looking at options and praying. I still haven't set a date. Financially for our business, I should have left this weekend - but I had to give a notice at work. John is sending me traveling money. My car is registered in MN and is up in Jan - ooops. My insurance is late and canceled. My cell phone is late. Things will work out.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Family

I have the most awesome family.

My daughter welcomed me into her home - made sure I had my own space - gave me free rein over the whole house - shared her friends with me - she is awesome. She wants to protect me - she wants what's best for me.

I have two devoted sisters. They are both older than me - and probably far wiser. They have each sacrificed for me. They would do anything to help me. They tend to mother me, and I tend to let them. They want to protect me -and want the best for me.

I have 2 wonderful sons who are also very supportive. They want to protect me. They want what's best for me.

I have neices and nephews who support me, want to protect me, want the best for me.

All of them have heard my tales of woe about my last marriage. I worry that I will disappoint them if I go back. They will still love me, but will they still be supportive?

I wise person once told me that you should not air your marriage problems to your family - they love you more than your spouse and may hold a grudge against your spouse for hurting you.

Goodness! I love them all.

Decisions, decisions

This is a huge decision for me to make. Sometimes, with the passage of time, you forget why you do things. I know I was miserable, I know I was emotionally/verbally abused. I know that I didn't stand up for myself. I also know that I probably could have handled things differently on my end also. We are talking about counseling. My ex has said that he is willing to go for counseling and has been working on being less critical. We are both praying for wisdom.

As many of you probably know - I have been married 4 times. I always end up leaving. I end up with abusive partners. Not physical - but emotional. Can it be different this time? Is it time to stop running? Am I an enabler? Am I a Drama Queen? One thing different about this relationship - is that when I left the first 3 - I didn't look back, it was over. I can't seem to get over this one. I keep sensing that I need to be there - for him, for me, for the grandchildren. I will keep praying.

Not about me

A little more about my recent thoughts. One of the things that bothered me in Maine was that I never felt like the lovely home I lived in was "mine" - it was always my husband's home - then it was always my daughter's home - now it is my sister/neice's home. In Maine I had a lot of stuff that I have carried with me over the years, but it just piled up everywhere - I left a lot when I went to MN - then I left most of that when I moved to AZ.

I figured that maybe I'm looking for something to fill my heart - I lost my mother at age 14 and maybe that is what I need - maybe I need the Lord more - so I have been praying consistently and fervently. I give myself 10 minutes every morning, just thanking and talking to our Lord.

You know what I found out? Nothing here on earth is really ours anyway. I don't miss my stuff, I miss my purpose. I found out that I am really a selfish, whiney, human. I plan to live more as a loved child of God. I pray daily to become more selfless rather than selfish. This world isn't about me it is about Him.

I talked about how the views here tug at my heart strings and always toward God and His awesome creation. Well, when I was in MN driving to and from work - I felt the same tug - when I would see pheasant, or deer (unless it was roadkill), the lakes. When in Maine, I traveled along the Kennebec River every day and never tired of it - it always drew me toward's God's awesomeness. So - I guess you could say - the whole world is God's Country.

Enough - gotta get to work

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ramblings

Got lots of stuff going through my mind lately - and I have been keeping it to myself mostly.

Last February - I left my husband, grandchildren, cat, home, job, neighbors, and friends. I was miserable, depressed, and incredibly lonely. I lived in Maine - with a daughter, 7 grandchildren, a sister, 3 nieces, and high school friends in Minnesota, a son, daughter-in-law and grandsons in the state of Washington, and a son, a sister, 3 nephews, a niece, and a best friend in Arizona. I really felt isolated from my family - being the only one on the east coast. I was feeling unloved by my husband and totally inadequate. He was very critical and gone from home a lot. I worked a full time job, took care of his grandchildren -at the time 7 and 9 - they were 4 and 6 when we got custody of them, took them to church, taught Sunday School once a month, did the cub scout thing, dance lessons, did the books for my husbands rental business, screened tenants, collected rents, did the banking, shoveling and tried to find some time for my art classes. I am 56 years old, got tired, depressed and left.

I invited my eldest sister from AZ to come take a road trip with me to Minnesota to keep me company for the move. My sister and brother-in-law and a nephew decided to come out to help. My brother-in-law brought his pick-up and a trailer to help me move all my stuff - which was mostly photos, artwork and books.and of course my faithful companion, Mika. My two sisters who are 10 and 13 years older than me road with me. We had a blast. We hadn't spent much time together in the past quite a few years. Mika and I moved in with my daughter, her husband, 7 children, a dog, 2 cats and a hampster. They welcomed us with open arms. Then we acquired kittens. - Oh, I forgot the fish. I got my own beautiful room. I got to spend time the family I loved. I joined all the festivities with my daughter and her lovely friends, who became my friends. I totally loved her church family. I became wonderful friends with her mother-in-law. I spent great times with my sister and her children. But I couldn't get a full time job with benefits, I was still depressed and lonely. I didn't feel fulfilled. I didn't feel a sense of purpose.

I took a 3 week trip to Arizona to help my sister recuperate from a dual craniotomy and fell in love with the beautiful state of Arizona again. It was like coming home - something about the views of the mountains and deserts tugs at my heartstrings. I ended up moving here - I share a room and bed with my lovely sister. I'm lonely. I don't feel a sense of purpose. I have no goals.

I miss my husband, I miss the grandchildren - I was their anchor for over 3 years - I was their when they went to bed, when they got up. Their papa - was gone a lot. Their mother moved to Maine to be near them, but only saw them once or twice a week. We had a plan - we were working towards our retirement - we planned to have our rentals paid off in less than ten years and be able to retire. The kids kind of put us back a few years - but what wonderful kids. They loved every meal I cooked, they went to bed when told, they got up when told, they giggled all day. I miss them.

My husband (ex) and I have been talking daily. He has been working all summer on not being so critical and has agreed to go to counseling. Am I crazy to consider going back? I had some knocks on the head from God - Once I prayed about getting a full time job and more money - and He said "Why should I give you more, when you weren't a good steward of what I already gave you?" Ouch. I could use the same quote for a fulfilling life with purpose.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Re Wordless Wednesday Picture

This picture - is actually a large rock we encountered while hiking that is encrusted with coral. Isn't it amazing to see coral on a mountain in Arizona? Try zooming in on the picture to see the details.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Grandma and Cooper


Newest Grandson


I just got back this morning from a quick trip to San Diego. I left Payson at 9 Friday morning - 2 hours later than I planned - first I had to get my oil changed and a new air filter put in. I picked up my youngest son, PJ in Phoenix and off we went to pick up my niece in San Diego and also to visit with my eldest son - who just got transferred to the sub base on Point Loma Linda. He and his wife just had my youngest grandchild a little over 2 weeks ago and were in a hotel in San Diego - their furniture doesn't get delivered until Wed. We had a great time. We left at 8pm last night and didn't get back to Payson until close to 4 this morning - and yes, I got up for church. We got stopped by the border patrol, my son really got patted down - they made us get out of the car - with a sleeping 5 yr old. We weren't allowed to put our hands in our pockets or bring our purses with. I thought they were going to tear the dash right out of the car. They had two dogs search the entire car - of course they didn't find anything, but golly. They did find something in the car in front of us though. Interesting. Any ways - here is a picture of the newest member of my family - he sure looks older and more alert than just being 2 weeks and 2 days old.